National University Taps Workforce Champion to Lead College of Professional Studies

Dr. Eric Roe brings expertise in building partnerships and creating workforce-relevant programs to the Southern California nonprofit university that focuses on adult learners

LA JOLLA, CALIF. (October 11, 2021) — National University, a nonprofit institution with a 50-year history of serving working adult learners, educators, and veterans, today announced the appointment of Ph.D. Eric Roe as dean of the College of Professional Studies. An engineer and educator, Dr. Roe has more than 20 years of experience creating programs and partnerships to make professional and workforce education relevant for students, employers and the economy through systemic reforms aligning competencies with talent development pathways.

“To prepare our learners for the jobs of tomorrow – as well as the jobs of today – we must continually improve our ability to forge partnerships with industry and develop workforce-relevant programs,” said National University Interim President Randy C. Frisch. “Dr. Roe’s combination of public and private sector experience and achievements are the right fit to help NU create innovative, sustainable programs that link talent development and student success with employer needs.”

National University’s College of Professional Studies offers a diverse set of programs designed to prepare students for careers in a wide variety of fields, including accounting, engineering, criminal justice, and health care. Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs include criminal justice administration, MBA, homeland security and emergency management, and public administration, as well as creative fields such as digital cinema, film and digital design, and professional screenwriting.

Before joining National University, Dr. Roe served as the assistant dean of continuing education at the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Roe was responsible for Texas Engineering Executive Education, the college’s continuing and professional education division, which included the executive engineering master’s degree and graduate certificate programs, engineering professional development and customized corporate training.

Prior to UT Austin, Dr. Roe was the director of applied technology at Polk State College and founder of the statewide Florida Manufacturing Talent Development Institute. In these roles he originated one of the first public competency-based degree programs, which transformed a traditional engineering technology course of study into a competency-based open-entry/early-exit program. He also created a statewide resource center, bridging industry and talent development systems. While overseeing several National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Labor grant programs, he helped create the toolkit for a unified education system that provides the curriculum, modalities, educational articulation pathways and certifications needed to deliver required workplace competencies for STEM-aligned careers.

“National University is committed to advancing educational models that can foundationally change the way we deliver higher education,” Dr. Roe said. “I’m looking forward to bringing my engineering background, commitment to stakeholder engagement and focus on student-centered program innovation to NU to achieve that goal.”

Dr. Roe held various positions in manufacturing, research, technical services and engineering before joining the education sector. He earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of South Florida. Dr Roe will begin at National University on October 11, 2021.

About National University

National University, a veteran-founded nonprofit, has been dedicated to meeting the needs of hard-working adults by providing accessible, affordable, achievable higher education opportunities since 1971. As San Diego’s largest private nonprofit university, NU offers over 75 online and on-campus programs and flexible four-week classes designed to help students reach their goals while balancing busy lives. Since its founding, the NU community has grown to over 30,000 students and 185,000 alumni around the globe, many of whom serve in helping industries such as business, education, health care, cybersecurity, and law and criminal justice. Learn more at NU.edu.